A Common Goal is the Basis for Building a United and Strong Nation
Democracy is a combination of both contrast and reason, being two elements that are common to the same ideal. Wherever Democracy exists, many are those who speak passionately about the ideals of democracy, but few realise that the element of “contrast” entails a contrast within a constructive dialogue. Where there is no dialogue, there is no roadmap and that, in turn, means no “Way Forward.” Consequently, the element of “reason,” which is based on the dissent, is annihilated if we allow ourselves to be spurred by passions which all too often are nudged by wrong reasons.
I, therefore, keep on asking myself the all too important question: «Why is it that our many and varied political parties opt for dialogue with the Government and among themselves for the common good of our Nation?” What is it then that we want for the Motherland? Are they not peace, democracy and accelerated growth to take us out from grinding poverty? There can then be dialogue on a goal that unites us all in this unique mission of national unity and common progress. This goal for once will create a modicum amount of conscience on all of us, even in those who are being aided and abetted by Ethiopia’s traditional enemies who are hell-bent on turning the Motherland into an ethnic inferno.
“The goal of our nation”
In the last few decades, the Federal Government had ushered in widespread and fundamental economic reforms as an integral part of its pro-poor policy of combating backwardness, hunger, and poverty. As a close observer of Ethiopia’s obtaining political, social and economic conditions, I cannot help but wonder if more could have been achieved in a shorter span of time than what we are witnessing today. Long term economic reforms take both time and economic resources (as experienced in all countries of the world).
The economic reforms already started successfully in Ethiopia are some of the most important goals, as we have seen in infrastructure, agriculture, industry and many other sectors. I am reminded, here, of a chess game where good players always change their strategy when their opponents too change their tactic. In the political arena, too, there comes a time when the ruling party take time out, reflect on the journey it had traversed and make necessary adjustment so that the momentum of growth and transformation is maintained. It is my earnest and humble opinion, then, that EPRDF take time out and reflect on its successes and short comings over the past 26 years, and bounce back with an all-inclusive overture to its opponents.
This would be in line with the most common context of Democracy, but in everyday life, people must be shielded from this contest, men must be virtuous only to the extent they obey sovereign laws. Every rational creature has an obligation to regulate its actions according to the principle that determines its conduct, compatible with that principle of law. Most of the ancient or modern democracies are based on this principle of “reason”.
But if reason does not have this original influence, it is impossible to obstruct a principle of what it possesses, or that it can hesitate our minds for a moment. It is thus clear that the principle opposed to passion cannot coincide with reason.
The question is: «Is it conceivable to transpose this truth into a courageous and innovative political program?». To do this we need to open a space for dialogue, to unite ours forces against those who are trying to destabilize our nation.
A project that is able to give the people a response to their national identity, because in that union our people are recognized, and from there they would like to start to act and not just to defend it. There is therefore a break and, with it, a new beginning: a political project that aspires to give bold and determi ned responses and innovative solutions to the crisis of our current frontier. A project that starts from the programs, and focuses on the right to work for health, education. A project that builds the future on the “knowledge economy” and on a sustainable economic model, not on the hegemony of markets but on people’s lives.
A project that gives priority to cultural heritage, and, which addresses issues with seriousness. Because the unity of a nation is not built from above but from below. With a process of dialogue throughout the country that is open to citizens to jointly decide (with a democratic method) shared programs with the autonomous regions. I believe, moreover, that the heart of this program is already enshrined in the preamble to the proclamation of our Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (Proclamation No.1 / 1995). In this process of democratization, especially, we must take into account that «All citizens have equal social dignity, and are equal before the law, without distinction of sex, race, language, personal and social conditions».
It is the task of the Federal Government then to remove the economic and social obstacles of the nation. Any action that limits the equality of citizens, impedes the full development of the human person and hinders the effective participation of all citizens in political and economic organization as well as the social development of the country.
Despite the risks of instability in the various regions of our borders, and the relatively high levels of violence that characterize our nation in relation to other areas of the globe, we have to appreciate that through the Government’s work our country has taken important steps towards greater stability with profound transformations of economic and social character.
Our country, between 2000 and 2014, has experienced an exceptionally fast and sustained growth phase. Under this political profile, the adoption of democratic reforms has favored many investments in various sectors. Also, the country’s demographic growth recorded exceptionally high rates. At the same time, the emergence, spreading and persistence of numerous armed conflicts in the inner and outer arms, are closely related to the unresolved issues along the borderlines contributing to widening the areas of tension between the population.
I think it is crucial for everyone to remember that the relationship between ethics and theory are very complex, and I can only confine myself to saying that a united nation, which is an indivisible nation, can communicate to all its respect for the laws of the state. I speak reasonably well. The conduct of a Democratic Government need not to be justified if it complies with the Rule of the Law.
In conclusion, I am convinced that the prevalence of fraternal love and mutual respect in all of us will see us through in thin and thick, because we Ethiopians are celebrated throughout the world for our resilience. However, it could be every day much brighter than just trying to share that feeling between us, rather than suffocating it in our grudges and wars every day. There are millions of ways to keep us tied and nurtured by our national unity, one with another: just do it really.
We do not have to stop with the use of words alone but we have to make it happen with a “common goal”. We must have to create a small but big world and make our Ethiopia a better place for ourselves, our children for others, for the whole of humanity. We can realize the dream of this common goal that each one of us follows.
Keeping together, we will give the world a better face and a light that will shine on today’s form of cultural ethnic division and will enlighten our path to happiness. We must have the strength to make the difference, to change things, because we are the world, we are the ones who will one day bring light where there is always darkness; it is all in our will. To realize the dream that each one of us follows. Even if we are a multiethnic country we must never forget that we are all children of one nation and one flag, with a vision that will enlighten our path to happiness.
God Bless Ethiopia and the peoples of Ethiopia.
Signed as H.I.H. Prince Aklile Berhan Makonnen Haile Selassie